I had the privilege to attend the first day of the recent 20:20 Customer Experience Summit recently. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay for the second day but I wanted to highlight a few things from two of the keynote speakers that stood out for me.
Simon Russell, Director, Retail Operations Development at John Lewis delivered a talk called ‘Delivering a seamless service’. In his talk he started with a quote from John Spedan Lewis, the founder John Lewis, who said that:
“The Ultimate Purpose of the Partnership is the happiness of all of our members through their worthwhile and satisfying employment in a successful business”.
He then went to say that John Lewis consults their frontline staff very early in the process of developing any new initiatives. They do this because they realise that to make any new initiatives successful they need to make sure that they, their employees, are involved at all times and support any change.
In another keynote, Reuben Arnold, Brand & Customer Engagement Director at Virgin Atlantic Airways talked about ‘Getting the details right’. One of the things that he said was that Virgin Atlantic had abandoned their ‘mystery shopping’ programme and, instead, had recruited customers to blog about their own end to end customer experience.
In addition to this he also said that they believe that observation of their customers is, for them, key to their ability to continuously innovate.
He added that they spend a lot of time hiring the right staff to deliver their brand promise. However, when they do hire people they then encourage them to bring out their own personalities at work.
Finally, like John Lewis, they believe that they need to treat their employees as well as they treat their customers if they are to deliver a great experience. Thus, staff areas and facilities are modelled on, or are similar to, Virgin’s Clubhouse airport lounges.
These two very different businesses, that are customer experience leaders in their own fields, show, amongst other things, that:
This post was originally published on the 20:20 Customer Experience Summit network here.
Consult your employees before rolling out an initiative?
Heresy, what do managers get paid for?
Indeed, James, indeed. What do they get paid for if they don’t consult their employees?
I love when more and more companies start to realize and evangelize that the employee experience and employees are important to delivering a great customer experience!
I, like you, hope to see more of this and more companies and executives connecting the dots.
Great post. A lot of companies these days focus only on ‘scale’ while ignoring how satisfied their customers are. While focusing on growth is good, but customers not having a great experience can be disastrous. Having good employees is again a very important attribute if you want to achieve customer loyalty in the long term.
Cheers, Eduward, and well said.
Thanks also for dropping by and commenting.
All the best,